The LSU Lady Tigers lost a close game that went all the way to the wire against the Tulane Green Wave Thursday night.
The Lady Tigers dropped their first game of the season after a failed inbound that hit off junior center Faustine Aifuwa's hands with time running out.
Despite a hard fought loss, junior forward Ayana Mitchell continued to put up a solid finish across the board.
Mitchell finished with her third straight double-double to start the season. She finished with 19 points and tied her career high in rebounds with 18. She was 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. She even showed off a her range, sinking a three-pointer for the first points of the game.
Even with the good numbers Mitchell put up, she was not pleased with the result of the game.
“For me, it’s not about achieving goals,” Mitchell said. “It wasn’t enough. We still lost. To still be able to be successful in certain areas, we’ll be happy with those but there are definitely areas we still need to work on.”
The Lady Tigers also got a good contribution from sophomore guard Jailin Cherry. She scored a career-high 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Even with this achievement, she feels that there is more to come.
“I don’t feel like I’ve hit my peak yet, but I know that I am on the verge of getting there,” Cherry said.
Despite Cherry’s 12-point contribution, LSU coach Nikki Fargas was not pleased with Lady Tigers’ guard play.
“It should not take a guard 15 shot attempts to score 12 points,” Fargas said. “We’ve got to shoot a much better percentage as a perimeter game. Shooting 30 percent from the perimeter is not going to win a lot of ball games.”
Fargas recognized that Cherry scored a career high in points, but she wants her and the other guards to do more than just shoot. Fargas expects Cherry to get her steals and assist numbers up and said that she is one of the best offensive rebounding guards on the team. She expects that to show in Cherry's numbers deeper into the season as she gains more experience and confidence.
Fargas was also disappointed in LSU’s defense, which is usually a strength for this team.
“I thought we missed a lot of defensive coverages,” Coach Fargas said. “I saw a lot of defensive mistakes. We weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be in our presses. I just felt like we weren’t in the mood to press tonight. Our team defense did not perform at the level it needed to to be successful.”
The Lady Tigers had 18 turnovers in Thursday’s contest. Sophomore guard Khayla Pointer attributed those to overthinking and forcing passes inside Tulane's zone defense.
However, even with 18 turnovers, LSU held Tulane to only 12 points off of turnovers. Mitchell credited this to the effort of the team.
“This team here — we don’t quit,” Mitchell said. “I love this team. I love my teammates. I think we play hard.”